François Ozon, France, 2010, 103 min.
Original French version, english subtitles.
In 1977, in a small French town, Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve) lives the life of a traditional
housewife, doting on her grumpy husband, Robert (Fabrice Luchini), who spends his days
running her family’s umbrella business into the ground. To her husband and her two grown
children, Madame Pujol is a trophy housewife with no real power; in other words, une potiche. But when she takes on a rough union leader (Gerard Depardieu) in François Ozon's latest gem, this film becomes a sparkling comic war between the sexes, and the classes. Deneuve is positively luminous as the matriarch learning to flex her muscles, and Depardieu is wonderfully endearing as the passionately Marxist mayor, who still holds a flame for his old petite amie. Delightful, empowering and charming, Potiche is filled with a stylish and charismatic je ne sais quoi.